Companies are demanding billions in aid for digitization and climate protection

Medium-sized companies should receive 400 billion euros from a transformation fund over ten years, demands the industry association BVMW. In addition, the middle class is pressing for a longer suspension of the obligation to file for insolvency.

Medium-sized companies, such as an office furniture manufacturer from Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, make up almost 90 percent of all companies in Germany.

DAccording to the industry association BVMW, the federal government should support medium-sized companies with a 400 billion euro fund in the transition to climate neutrality and digitization. The transformation fund should have a volume of 40 billion euros per year for the next ten years, the BVMW announced on Tuesday. “Many medium-sized companies ran into massive liquidity problems in the Corona crisis and had to fall back on their equity to secure their livelihoods and in some cases use it up completely.”

Over 90 percent of the companies in Germany belong to the middle class, which provides six out of ten jobs. Because of the thinner equity base, bank loans for investments are currently difficult to obtain for many companies.

Lower taxes, less red tape

A ten-point catalog of demands for the federal election campaign also states that it is unacceptable that craft businesses have a higher tax rate in Germany than global corporations. For investments there must also be more opportunities to write them off immediately. The bureaucracy costs would have to be reduced by at least 10 percent – significantly more than with previous relief laws. In addition, the state should ensure a more modern infrastructure, expand renewable energies and shorten planning and approval procedures.

In addition, called on Mittelstand calls on the Union to give up its resistance to a longer suspension of the obligation to file for insolvency. An extension of six months would be ideal, because by then the corona crisis will probably have largely been over, explained the BVMW. Above all, companies that are still waiting for state aid or have only received part of it are in distress. “That can mean the death knell now,” said BVMW chief economist Hans-Jürgen Völz. Therefore, the CDU / CSU should change their position and support an extension.

BVMW tourism expert Daniela Gerdes said that the non-extension would be fatal for the travel industry, which is suffering particularly badly from the pandemic. “If you stop it now, you will be finished.” Many providers in the industry would need a few more months before the situation would normalize.

Fear of zombie companies

During the Corona crisis, the federal government suspended the obligation to file for insolvency and extended it several times in order to accommodate companies that got into difficulties through no fault of their own. The most recent regulation expired at the end of April. The SPD in the Bundestag is campaigning for a further extension, but the CDU / CSU are against it.

Some economists fear that the long-suspended obligation to file for insolvency will artificially keep companies alive that actually no longer have a functioning business model. This could create so-called zombie companies.